Ivory Coast Overview

Côte d’Ivoire is located in West Africa and borders Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Mali. The official capital has been Yamoussoukro since 1983, but the old capital Abidjan is still the administrative center and most foreign embassies are still there.

Capital: Yamoussoukro
Biggest city: Abidjan
State: republic
Language: French
Religion: indigenous religions, Christianity, Islam
Surface: 322 460 km²
Population: 21.1 million (2013)
Population density: 64 residents per km²
Life expectancy: 55 years
Illiteracy: 51%
Currency: CFA franc (XOF)
1 CFA franc = 0.01 kr
GDP per capita: $ 1,700 (2010)
Time difference: -1 hour
Electricity: 220/230 V AC, 50Hz
National Day: 7 August
Country area code: 225
2-Letter country abbreviation: CI (See more abbreviations on Abbreviationfinder)
Business: agriculture 70%, service sector 25%, industry 5%
Climate: tropical; but drier in the north

Ivory Coast flag

To reduce the confusion surrounding the country’s names in international forums (Ivory Coast, Ivory Coast, Costa de Marfil, Côte d’Ivoire, Ivory Coast, etc.), the government requested in October 1985 that the country’s name be Côte d’Ivoire in all languages. However, this has not made an impact to any great extent and the Ivory Coast is still the official name of the country in Sweden. The residents of the country are, however, called Swedish Ivorians.

In the 1840s, the French began colonizing the interior. They were then met by long-standing armed resistance from the various ethnic groups who lived there. Officially, Côte d’Ivoire became a French colony in 1893. In 1904, Côte d’Ivoire was incorporated into French West Africa. In 1958, the country gained some autonomy within the French Commonwealth to finally become completely independent in 1960.

Ivory Coast is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of coffee, cocoa and palm oil. This makes the economy very sensitive to the weather and to variations in world market prices. By encouraging developed and diversified agriculture and by opening up the country to foreign investors, Côte d’Ivoire has had a favorable development compared with the other countries in the region. The exception is the years 2000 to 2002 when growth was negative due to the civil war and low world market prices for export goods.

In 2003, half the adult population was illiterate. France has major economic interests in the country; the 14,000 French people who live there have a great influence on the country’s business life. The country’s biggest tourist attraction is the unique nature, where high mountains are replaced by picturesque fishing villages.


The following objects in Côte d’Ivoire are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The year in which the item was added to the list is indicated in parentheses.

  • Mount Nimbas Nature Reserve (1981)
  • Thai National Park (1982)
  • Comoé National Park (1983)
  • The city of Grand-Bassam, the country’s first capital (2012)


Electricity and electrical outlets in Ivory Coast

Voltage: 220 V

Frequency: 50 Hz

Type of plug: C, E

Need an adapter: No, you do not need an adapter.


Weather in Yamoussoukro

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Christmas Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temperature °C 24 27 27 27 26 25 24 24 24 25 25 24
Rain (mm) 13 37 109 130 154 146 113 103 173 132 35 18

Ivory Coast 2


Abidjan is the largest city in the Ivory Coast, with 3.8 million residents (2007). The city is located on the Atlantic coast, 240 kilometers south of the country’s capital Yamoussoukro. Abidjan is the country’s economic and industrial center, with textile, wood, agricultural, chemical and canning industries, among others. The coastal location means that the city has an important export port, which is connected by rail with Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou. There is a university in Abidjan, founded in 1964. Abidjan is often called “Paris of Africa”.


According to Countryaah, Yamoussoukro is the official capital of the Ivory Coast. The city has 20,659 residents (2005), and is located about 240 kilometers north of the country’s largest city, Abidjan. Yamoussoukro is home to the world’s largest church, Notre-Dame de la Paix, which was consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1990.

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